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Manœuvres, Germany (Equipment)

Volume 480: debated on Tuesday 14 November 1950

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9.

asked the Secretary of State for War whether, at the manœuvres recently held in Western Germany, the equipment of the British troops engaged was found to be in all respects serviceable and up to date.

I would refer the hon. and gallant Member to my hon. Friend's reply to the hon. and gallant Member for Carshalton (Brigadier Head) on 24th October.

Is it not a fact that the equipment in question was not in all cases serviceable and up-to-date? Is it not of great importance that this equipment should be made up-to-date in every way?

I thought the hon. and gallant Member's Question was on refresher training to Class Z reservists. [HON. MEMBERS: "This is Question nine."] This is a supplementary to Question nine?

As my hon. Friend the Under-Secretary said, new types of equipment are arriving in the Army. I have just given an instance of production of tanks being doubled. But it would be wrong to say that all the equipment of the last-war type used in the exercise in Germany was obsolete or unserviceable.

Surely the right hon. Gentleman can answer a simple question. Was the equipment found in all respects serviceable? Up to now he has evaded the answer to that question. Was it, or was it not?

The Question says, "serviceable and up-to-date." Some of the equipment used by the Army needs replacement. That is the purpose of the rearmament programme which has just been undertaken.

Was not a large proportion of that equipment found not to be serviceable and up to date.